You can’t handle the truth!

3 04 2008

Posted 14:02 03 March 2008 by Dr. Pipslow

For novice Forex traders there always exists the desire to be right. What better to help justify their progress as traders than their decisions being correct, resulting in a successful trade? Yet this yearning to be right can get them into trouble.

To keep from having to deal with the consequences of bad trading decisions (or indecision), some traders will put off placing the trade all together. Others will go as far as holding a losing position, hoping the market will turn in their favor to prove their judgments right.

In these events, the need to be right is smothering any chances of success and doing nothing to help the trader grow. When there’s hesitation at that critical moment of a trade, fear takes over, and the trader can’t make a move. And when a trader is scared, he stays clear of making trades at all. You have to trade and trade and trade to learn the markets and sharpen your skills. Accepting criticism is an important trait that may help you get over those fears of trading by providing insight about your trading shortcomings.

Why do we have such a hard time accepting criticism? For one, criticism has negative connotations, usually associated with poor performance, doing something wrong, or not being sufficient enough in the task at hand. Most people, traders included, don’t take well with negative feedback or comments. Some of the psychological aspects of the way we now deal with criticism are deeply rooted in our past, from experiences with our parents and school teachers. They were in the position to correct us and tell us when we were wrong, and some were more extreme than we liked with their criticism. They definitely had a psychological impact on us was there, with many of us now transferring those experiences to our trading.

Here is where we can make a change. Don’t let criticism take an emotional toll on you. Don’t take it as a personal attack, but as an opportunity to possibly make some changes. View criticism only as information you can use to better your skills. Removing the emotional ties to your performance is vital to using criticism constructively.

We also have a tough time accepting criticism because, deep down, we all want to be perfect. This position has been ingrained in us since our early days in school. You are taught to be. And if you’re always right, you’ll undoubtedly be successful. You usually didn’t get a second chance at correctly answering a question or fixing your mistakes on a test you bombed. You weren’t allowed the option of trying again and sharpening your skills.

Many traders take this position with their Forex trading. But this is where trading is different. You have the power to (demo) trade over and over again. Start with a small trade, learn from your errors, and try again. It’s that simple. This process will give you experience with the Forex market and allow you to sharpen your trading skills, all while managing you risk effectively.

Don’t be afraid of criticism… look for it! Keep an open mind and don’t take everything so personal. Learn to view criticism as only information, and take it as free advice and training. It’s not enough just making a trade and living with the outcome. To be a successful trader, you want to understand why you lost or won, and sometimes the best way of determining this is from someone else (through their experiences, views and comments). The better you get at staring criticism in the face AND learning from it, the more you help to develop your own trading skills. TRADE ON!


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